Rimac plans to develop fleet of robotaxis

BELGRADE: After developing the fastest electric sports car in the world, Croatian manufacturer Rimac has unveiled its latest project: robotaxis.

Bearing the name Verne, inspired by the famous science fiction author Jules Verne, the company's self-driving taxis will be launched first in Zagreb in 2026, followed by 10 other European cities, Rimac says.

The four-metre-long car can be entered through two doors that slide forwards. Inside, there are just two reclining seats, as well as an XXL screen mounted under the windscreen and a small control panel in the centre console.

2024-06-26 23_47_06-VERNE Interior3.webp - IrfanView

There is no steering wheel or pedals because the car is designed to operate without a driver thanks to two dozen sensors and autopilot software.

Powered by a 60-kWh battery that is supposed to last for 240km, this 205 hp car can - at least in theory - reach speeds of up to 130kph, but transit authorities are unlikely to allow self-driving speeds beyond even half of that.

Once its battery runs out, the robotaxi takes itself to a depot called the Mothership, where it is charged and cleaned at least once a day.

2024-06-26 23_47_26-VERNE Interior2 (1).webp - IrfanView

The service, which Rimac says will cost no more than a taxi ride, is booked via an app that also personalises the car, Rimac says, promising: "No matter which car arrives, it's always yours."

Rimac's announcement comes as Google's sister company Waymo is making strides with self-driving taxis in the US, having lifted its waiting list for anyone who wants use the company's service in San Francisco.

2024-06-26 23_47_45-VERNE Interior1.webp - IrfanView
2024-06-26 22_25_48-dpa news _ Photos ( Release 2.17.7 ) - Brave
Autos Rimac